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Newspaper Page Text
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tounity. Buteven if such a method
of discipline had been permitted, how
would it have been enforced?
The question was prompted by the
pandemonium that followed upon Mr.
Pendleton's resolute rejection- of Jim
Smith's proposition. Everybody in
Four Corners knew that the new
schoolmaster would soon go the way
of hispredecessors. The school board,
who secretly disapproved of educa
tion, watched matters with smug
smiles. Smith lounged insolently in
his seat; Smith talked with his neigh
bors and contemptuously refused to
recite his lessons.
"I told yer what it would be if you
didn't do as I said," he explained to
Mr. Pendleton, when the schoolmas
ter remonstrated with him privately.
"Get -out of the school? Say, yer
crazy. What'd I get out for -when I'm
having the time of my life here?''
There was one thing that kept the
schoolmaster to his work. That was
Susie Connor. She had told him it
was a shame the boys did not behave
better. She had counseled an ap
peal to the board. A strong attach
ment had begun to dawn between the
young man and the pretty country
"If I were you, Horace," she said
one day they had begun uncon
sciously to call each other by their
first names "I would try to make a
real school here. There are men- in
the community who would stand by
you if you refused to let Jim come to
school. And you could do so much."
"I would like nothing better," he
answered. "I would like to cast my
lot here and make a read educational
center of Four Corners. But if I took
the law into my own hands and
trashed Smith" at which Susie's
eyes widened a little "I should have
to give up my position. And I'm
Btaying here for you, Susie."
- Before the day had elapsed every
body knew' that Pendleton and Susie
Connor were sweethearts.
Oh the next day Smith cast all pre
tense at discipline. His remarks I
made in class-were brief and
"You're sweet on her," he said, in
dicating the girl, whose face was
mantled with red. "She's my gal, Mr.
Schoolmaster understand? And I
won't have any miserable, measly in
terloper coming here fooling round
Mr. Pendleton had been aware that
Smith had a calf-like attachment for,
the girl, but it had never occurred to
him to take him seriously. ?
He looked up hopelessly, and he,
saw a strange look in Susie's eyes. He
could not help interpreting it aright.
It said: "Are you man tuough to pre
vent my being insulted and to stand
up for me?
"Mean that, Smtih?" asked Mr.
Pendleton, leaving hi desk and cross
Smith leaped at him with a bellow.
"Ah, sure!" he mimicked. "You've
had your day, Miv Schoolmaster, and
now you can git, because this-school
won't open any moreo long as
you're in this town, "you sniveling
"Smith," said Horace Pendleton,
"you are a bad boy and you have the
makings of a bad man.' in you. Do N
you see that switch in the corner?
Go and bring it to me."
- The lout stared at him incredu
lously; then, with swinging arms, he
rushed at him. Next moment, he
found himself lying on the oor, the
blood issuing profusely fromjiis nose.
It did not take more than one blow to
quiet the bully. He burst into a yell.
"'I'll tell the board on you," he
"Smith," said the schoolmaster
"did you-hear what I said about that'
switch? Go and bring it to-me." x
-. He yanked him from the floor and"
grasped him with one hand by the,
collar. And Smith crept to the cor
ner then, with a wild yell threaten
ing vengeance, he had burst out of
the door and was running in the-
direction of his home."
'This, will mean, good-bye, Susie,